We had the good fortune of connecting with KJ Khaotic and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi KJ, why did you pursue a creative career?
Honestly I’m not sure if I chose to be an artist or if Art chose me, haha. I know it’s cliché but, I’ve been making art since I was old enough to hold a crayon. So when it came down to choosing a career I knew two things: I want it to be a part of my artistic expression, mostly through music, and I want to help people. Music was there for me when I couldn’t turn the way I felt into words. It’s powerful, it’s the language of the soul. Everyone speaks the language of music. You see it when toddlers dance, its just instinct. I want to use that as a way to heal people by relating to them. If I can pay my bills while helping people, I couldn’t ask for anything more!
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
You could probably sum everything about me up by one word: Alternative. On the outside I’m dressed in black, colored hair, tattoos, piercings, and no filter on my what I say. Yet I am deeply empathetic, I think about how other people are feeling almost obsessively. I love Jesus. I respect people for their beliefs. I’m also hella gay. In 20-30 years I don’t think I’ll stand out much at all. But for now, people give me strange looks when they see me reading my bible or holding hands with my girlfriend. I had a long struggle with my mental health, battled suicide and self harm and have come out victorious. But I know people who have not. I want to live loud and proud and unapologetically, for those who did not get to. And to inspire others to embrace their own truths.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Welcome to Kansas City, we have the best BBQ though no one can agree on a particular place. Some say Gates, but I say it’s Joe’s Kansas City Bar-B-Que and Jack Stack! After your pulled pork and cheesy corn with a roll, we’ll visit the Nelson Atkins Art Museum. Or maybe SEA LIFE or the Kansas City Zoo. Something pretty. We’ll take a short nap and end the night with a local show seeing a friend’s band. The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I can look back and point to a few critical events in my life that helped mold me into an artist. My parents, for sharing their love of classic rock with me and taking me to my first concert, REO Speedwagon, when I was 8. My grandparents for paying for my guitar lessons when I was in my early teens. And lastly, and this will sound kind of strange, but the book 23 Minutes in Hell by Bill Weise, and my youth pastors. I was lonely as a kid and was obsessed with the paranormal. I was given the audio book on CD by a stranger while I was in line for a haunted house. I listened to the description of hell by the man who died and came back. It wasn’t a message of fire and brimstone, but it was still shocking. And yet the man who told his story was so kind and loving. I knew then I needed to turn my life around. A few years later i met my youth pastors who talked about God like He was real and was a close friend. They described conversations they had with God in prayer, and how he would actually talk with Him. I wanted that so badly and decided to give my life to get to know God. The rest really fell into place from there, I know I’m living the life I’m meant to be.
Other: TikTok: https://vm.tiktok.com/ZMehETLLe/
Steinmiller Productions Linc K Photography Zachariah Mayfield